Verizon Center Drops to No. 10 in 2015 Stadium Rankings

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Posted May 21, 2015

Fans at Verizon Center. (Caps Outsider)

As reported this week, Verizon hasn’t yet decided if it wants to renew its naming rights deal with the Capitals home arena when their contract is up in 2018. Sources say Monumental Sports will  be selling the naming rights for $7 million a year on a 10-15 year contract.  The Washington sports arena was built in 1997 and was originally called MCI Center.  In 2006, Verizon bought the naming rights. So, if you have around $100 million burning a hole your pocket, this could be the deal for you.

But it’s not the name of the facility that makes the arena hop.  It’s the fans.  Through the good times and the bad, Capitals (and Wizards) fans have been steadfast and loyal.   A trip to Verizon Center is not just a chance to see professional athletes in action, it’s an experience.  Caps fans boast that they are the best, classiest fans in the NHL.  They think their arena is the second to none, but how does it actually rank along with other NHL arenas?

Stadium Journey Magazine has updated its annual list of the 30 most desirable NHL arenas.  The rankings are based on many factors including concessions, surrounding neighborhood, access to arena (traffic), access to restrooms and other destinations on the concourse, other unusual amenities, overall atmosphere, and the fans.

Last year, Stadium Journey ranked the Verizon Center #2 citing: The fans are rowdy, the food is good, and the action is fast-paced. What more could a hockey fan ask for?

This year Verizon Center has fallen to #10.  Stadium Journey describes the experience and the atmosphere as “intense” and that fans are yelling Rock the Red with “drunken voices”—hmmm….wonder who those reporters ran into.  Anyway, here’s the top ten for 2015:

  1. MTS Centre – Winnipeg Jets
  2. Xcel Energy Center – Minnesota Wild
  3. First Niagara Center – Buffalo Sabres
  4. Amalie Arena – Tampa Bay Lightening
  5. Gila River Arena – Arizona Coyotes
  6. Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia Flyers
  7. Scottrade Center – St. Louis Blues
  8. Madison Square Garden – New York Rangers
  9. TD Garden – Boston Bruins
  10. Verizon Center – Washington Capitals

No matter what the ranking, Verizon Center (or whatever you name it) is #1 in the hearts of Caps’ fans.  For more info complete with a full review of the top 30 facilities visit stadiumjourney.com.